Top 10 Expo East Finds (2016)
Well, Expo East has come and gone just like that. Expo East is put on by the Natural Products Expo once a year in Baltimore, Maryland. It's a chance for thousands of people in the natural foods industry to flock together to find new products, see companies they love, do business with sales managers and brokers, and see what's out there. For me, a food allergy friendly blogger, it’s like a "Food Disneyland," where you are able taste all kinds of foods - most which are debuting at the show - and then I get to share them all with you on my blog! I love finding new food allergy friendly foods!
I was also able to debut my brand new "BE REAL. EAT REAL." shirts and so many people loved them - yay! Stay tuned for info on ordering them and my brand new tote bags with the same design.
Also, spending the week with my lovely friend Christine (LivingCleanWithChristine.com) was the organic, vegan, gluten free, frosting (which you will read about below) on the gluten free cake for sure. We laughed until we cried... literally. We had a BLAST & we even celebrated her daughter’s 8th birthday! Here's an action shot of her blowing out the candles.
I could go on and on and tell you about how much fun I had and all the booths I went to... but instead, I am just going to highlight some of my favorite finds from companies that I have never tasted products from before… plus 3 companies that I have loved for awhile with brand new products that I was able to try out at the expo.
The following favorite finds are in no particular order:
1) Healthy Skoop Protein Powder organic, vegan, gluten free, soy free, whey free, dairy free, non-gmo
This is a sweet company that makes organic plant-based protein powder that really tastes delicious. I tried both the vanilla and chocolate protein powders at the Expo, and they were both really good. I never go for vanilla in my protein shakes unless I plan on putting a ton of fruit in it to cover up the vanilla flavor. Most vanilla protein powders taste really fake and gross to me. Healthy Skoop’s vanilla protein powder is so beyond good I don’t even need to add anything to it… just some flax milk! Wowza … and the chocolate is just as tasty as the vanilla! I love protein shakes to have for breakfast or in the afternoon when I need a pick-me-up, and I love rotating my protein shakes each day so that I get something different each time. There are so many protein powders out there that are filled with all kinds of nonsense and fillers, but I just I love that Healthy Skoop’s protein powder is organic, vegan, low sugar... and the people are way awesome, too! I gave my dad a few packets to try and he said “where has this company been all my life?” Well, Dad, my thoughts exactly! But now I have found them and I’m thrilled! If you are looking for a good protein powder, please go check out HealthySkoop.com
2) Revolution Gelato vegan, gluten free, kosher, egg free, soy free
Wow… where do I even begin? This gelato is so creamy, rich and full of flavor. There are 6 flavors
and I tasted all of them more than once. I did go back to their booth quite a few times over the weekend to get another taste because it was that good and refreshing! They have Cardamom Kiss, Chocolate Fantasy, Majestic Mango, Nekkid Espresso, Orange Dream and Triple Vanilla. They are all tasty on their own or pair up nicely with each other… the orange and chocolate are great together, and so are the chocolate and espresso. Not only is the gelato fantastic but the people who own this company are good people! They are very kind and so warm. Right now, you can get this gelato in Atlanta, and you could ship it from their website - but it would be pricey! I will be super stoked to see this gelato in stores near me. Their gelato is made from coconut cream and cashews, and there are only a short list of ingredients and even contains 20% - 50% less sugar than regular gelato. It was such a pleasure meeting this company at Expo East! Stay tuned for more and check them out: RevolutionGelato.com
3) Miyoko’s Kitchen Mozzarella vegan, gluten free, lactose, egg free, soy free, non-gmo
One booth I enjoyed stopping for samples at more than one time was Miyoko’s Kitchen. They were grilling up some grilled cheese sandwiches that were 100% vegan. Their vegan mozzarella tastes creamy and divine and totally tasted like real cheese that we are all used to. I don’t eat cow milk cheeses (or drink cow milk at all) except for mozzarella on occasion. I would totally buy this vegan mozzarella instead of cow milk mozzarella any day! It melts, browns, and slices into a nice caprese salad just like traditional Mozzarella di Buffalo. It’s made of coconut oil, cashews, tapioca starch, agar, sea salt and cultures. It’s low carb, and HIGH on my fav finds list at Expo East! You can find this vegan cheese at Mother’s Market here in Orange County and some Whole Foods Markets. But you can visit their website and check out their store locator to find their goodies: MiyokosKitchen.com
4) Macaccino organic, sugar free, no pesticides, non-gmo, vegan, caffeine free
I never would have thought that I would go for a coffee alternative. If you know me, I love my coffee so much! I don’t need it to function but I do love the taste of coffee and typically crave it around 4pm every day. With that being said, I was hesitant to give this a try, but oh my word, WOW! Macaccino is one of my favorite finds! I tasted their original mocha flavor, and I really loved it. I love that Macaccino is made from the maca root, which is rich in B, C & E vitamins, iron, magnesium and amino acids. It’s a superfood drink that gives you energy without the caffeine, and there is no brewing or grinding. I love that it can be ready in an instant, hot, cold or over ice, and it does have a similar taste and texture to coffee or hot chocolate. Macaccino alkalizes the blood, has 18 amino acids, 60 vitamins and minerals, balanced hormonal levels and assists in stress relief. It’s a clean, organic superfood energy drink from made from Mother Nature. You can check out Macaccino.com and learn more about this amazing drink and even order it online. Also, side note, they donate lots of money to the Rainforest Trust which protects key jaguar populations.
5) Molly’s Bakeovers Cookies gluten free, peanut free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, non-gmo
Who doesn’t love cookies? How about cookies that you know you can safely eat when you have
food allergies and taste amazing? Molly’s Bakeovers are just the cookie for you! They are soft, made of quality ingredients like pure honey, organic coconut, organic gluten free oats, dark chocolate chips, organic gluten free brown rice cereal, flaxseeds, and vanilla. These are small cookies with BIG flavor. I was able to taste all 4 of their flavors and loved each one just the same. If I had to pick, I would probably go for the chocolate chip, because... you know… chocolate! Molly created these cookie recipes for her kids so that she could feel good about giving them a treat without feeling guilty. She wanted a cookie that was safe for her kids who all have food allergies. What a super mom! And now, those of you with food allergies or who have kiddos with food allergies can enjoy these delicious cookies that are food allergy friendly! Nothing genetically modified or processed are in these cookies, and I promise you will get hooked after just one bite! Check out Bakeovers.com to learn more and order
6) Harmless Harvest Coffee Coconut Water organic, vegan, dairy free, non-gmo, no fertilizers, no toxic pesticides, no artificial additives
I never thought I would ever buy coconut water. I do not like coconut water and never have… until now! Yup, Harmless Harvest, you cracked me… (see what I did there?) My dad has been loving their coconut water for a long time and his fridge is super stocked up. I have tasted other coconut waters in the past and never have been a fan. However, I tasted it from Harmless Harvest and now I’m a fan! The same goes for my hubby... He loves it now, too! Also, Harmless Harvest is based in my hometown of San Francisco, which is another plus! Their new coffee coconut water is something that is absolutely unbelievable. When I’m drinking it, I feel as if I should be waking up on the beach in Hawaii or the Caribbean. If you love coffee than you will love this drink as there is as much caffeine as about 1/2 a shot of espresso. The coffee beans are organic and fair trade from Peru. This coffee coconut water only has 2 ingredients and I bet you could guess them: coffee extract and coconut water… both organic. If you were like me and hated coconut water, do yourself a favor and go try Harmless Harvest’s coconut water... you will not be sorry! Then, do yourself another favor and try the new coffee coconut water because it’s beyond refreshing, hydrating and so good for you! HarmlessHarvest.com
7) Perfect Bar organic, non gmo, gluten free, soy free
I have seen this bar staring at me right in the face. I have been wanting to try these wonderful bars for such a long time and I am so glad that I did. I mean, come on now! These bars have lots of protein, give you good energy and have over 20 super foods that are organic. You can use it as a meal on the go, or do what I do and enjoy one of the mini Peanut Butter Perfect Bars along with a protein shake (see number 1 again). There is organic milk powder in these bars, which is something that I cannot eat every single day. But it also has all kinds for yummy ingredients like flax seed, rose hip, orange, lemon, papaya, tomato, apple, alfalfa, celery, kelp, carrot and spinach! It tastes like peanut butter cookie dough, which is totally on point! They have many flavors, and I tasted them all at the expo. They are all delicious and I totally recommend them. Check out PerfectBar.com to learn more.
8) Simple Mills Organic Frosting organic, vegan, dairy free, non-gmo, gluten free, gum free
Why, hello my new favorite-frosting-ever-from-one-of-my-all-time-favorite-companies, Simple Mills! Wow - this frosting came out just in time for my birthday that is coming up in November! Goodness gracious... Katlin, the founder and creator of Simple Mills, has done it again! When I tell you that this frosting is amazing, it’s a million times better than whatever you are imagining! It’s made of REAL ingredients that are simple and true to the Simple Mills product line. There are no fillers, additives, chemicals, or anything that is not good for you. This frosting is the perfect match and perfectly accompanies each of their baking mixes. It’s like they were made for each other… oh wait! They totally were! I just get so very excited when I talk to people about Simple Mills because they are making it so easy for people to enjoy delicious foods while having food allergies. Simple Mills, and the amazing team that they have, really care about each and every product that they make. They want all the ingredients to be good tasting and good for you. When you look at the average ready-made frosting (which I am googling the ingredients for right now), they are filled with so many ingredients that I cannot even pronounce, and I have a degree in education! Simple Mills’s frosting is 100% organic and made of palm shortening, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, coconut oil, vanilla extract, rosemary extract (for freshness), sea salt and monk fruit extract. Simple Mills frosting has 1/3 or less the amount of the sugar that is in average ready-made (gross) frosting out there. To learn more about Simple Mills, visit SimpleMills.com and stay tuned to find out more about their organic frosting!
9) Tolerant Foods: Green Lentil & Kale Pasta organic, gluten free, vegan, non-gmo
You know I love my favorite pasta from Tolerant Foods, and now I love them even more because their new pasta, which isn’t even in stores yet! It is made with lentils and vegetables and filled with protein, fiber and (once again) the texture is on point. You totally feel like you are eating regular pasta, but this is so much better for you than a regular pasta could ever dream of being! Tolerant Foods tastes great, and it’s also good for you, too. If you are a meat eater and are trying out “meatless Mondays” or if you want to just eat better, give Tolerant Foods Red Lentil Pasta (or Green lentil or Black Bean) a try and you will feel so much better about what you are eating and what you are feeding your family. Not only is this company changing the pasta game, they are super duper great people who care about the ingredients that go into their products. They understand that not only is their pasta better for you, but it’s also allergy friendly, which you know I love! My husband and I have been loving this company for the last 2 years, and I love seeing what new pastas they come out with. I can’t wait for this new pasta blend to be released for all to enjoy! Visit TolerantFoods.com to learn more.
10) Hilarys Eat Well: Breakfast Sausages
organic, kosher, corn free, dairy free, egg free, gluten free, nut free, soy free
I found Hilary's thanks to Christine (my beautiful friend pictured at the top of this blog) at Expo West (the West Coast version of this Expo which is in Anaheim) and quickly fell in love with their products and the people! Everyone is so sweet, and you can totally tell they honestly love their products and care about the quality of them. They debuted a brand new product at Expo East this year... their Apple Maple Veggies Sausages are totally gluten free, egg free and vegan and just incredible! I think we must have gone back a few times for samples because they were that tasty! I love this company and all the yummy products that they are making. I love that their products are food allergy friendly and good for you! Their brand new breakfast sausages are made from millet, lentils, dates, coconut oil, apples, hemp seed, psyllium husk powder, salt, arrowroot, maple, fennel, sage, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, paprika, nutmeg and cinnamon. You cannot go wrong with Hilary's - everything is great and made with lots of love! Check out HilarysEatWell.com
Here's most of my haul from the expo... I just love so many of these companies and plan to write about so many of them in their own blog posts very soon!